GSBSE Student Sarah Peterson, MD and MMCRI Research Education Program Coordinator Liz Bergst Recognized

GSBSE Student Sarah Peterson and MMCRI Research Education Program Coordinator Liz Bergst recently received a poster presentation award at the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on  March 13 -15th. Their presentation focused on a unique program to provide personnel management training for research trainees at MMCRI. The NPA mission is “to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting enhanced research training and a culture of enhanced professional growth to benefit scholarship and innovation”.  Graduate students and research program administrators  are encouraged to participate in support of this overall goal.

The title and abstract of the poster presentation are included below, and an announcement of the award and a link to the poster are posted on the NPA website at the following link:

Management training for research fellows: a translatable model
Acquisition of personnel management skills can help scientists create and sustain positive working laboratory environments. Many training programs, however, lack formalized education components for developing these skills. At Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI), we identified a need for management training through our annual research fellow needs survey. In response, we initiated a management training program geared to our research environment by adapting an existing program in place at Maine Medical Center (MMC). MMC uses Development Dimensions International (DDI) to conduct management training classes for all current managers throughout the MMC system. DDI’s blended training program combines online study with in-class workshops led by DDI-trained MMC representatives. MMCRI is a unique professional and training environment compared to the majority of MMC, and the Director of Training and Organizational Development (TOD) at MMC agreed to tailor a program specifically for the MMCRI “Emerging Leaders” and current managers, including laboratory Principal Investigators. To develop this program, interviews were conducted with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty scientists, and administrative leaders to understand our research environment and define unique needs. The Director of TOD then worked with leaders in our trainee community and research administration to tailor a program specific to each group. The effectiveness of the program will be assessed at the end of the sessions with a feedback tool that allows participants to self-report their competence levels in these areas before and after the training. Feedback received thus far has been encouraging. In the future, we plan to offer enrollment in this training program to all our new research fellows. The model of co-opting an existing management training program from an affiliate hospital or other institutional sponsor may be translatable to other research institutions as well.